It’s not uncommon to live away from family these days, but it can make things difficult when elderly relatives need support. Our lives are more demanding than ever, and few people can afford to uproot their lives or abandon their responsibilities, so what is the best thing to do when an elderly loved one needs your care?
Offering support to a loved one who lives in another country or state is difficult, but it’s not impossible. Here are five tips to help you give support from a distance.
Make Local Contacts
Do you have other family members or friends who live near your elderly relative, or could you make contact with someone locally? If you’re worried about a relative who lives alone, having someone check up on them from time to time will ease your concerns and keep you informed about their care. Make friends with the neighbors and other people living locally, and offer your contact details in case of an emergency.
Hire an At-Home Caregiver
There are plenty of options for elderly care these days, so your loved one doesn’t need to give up their home. If your relative needs help around the house but is reluctant to give up their independence, hiring an at-home caregiver is the best possible solution. Your loved one can stay in familiar surroundings and build a relationship with one key carer instead of several members of staff. If you feel it’s time to introduce at-home assistance, Caring People Inc can provide guidance and support to help you make an informed decision, and they serve a variety of locations including Queens in New York.
Share the Responsibility
While most people would go above and beyond to care for a loved one, being the primary caregiver (even from a distance) will eventually take its toll. Looking after an elderly relative is a huge responsibility, so share the burden with other siblings or relatives if you can. Others may assume you’ve got things handled, but you can’t be the only person willing to help.
Manage Financial Affairs
Modern technology is perfectly equipped for handling finances from afar, so taking care or your relative’s money is something you can do fairly easily. There may come a time when your loved one fails to pay their bills on time or makes poor judgments with money, at which point you may need to step in. Your elderly relative may be reluctant to give up their financial freedom, in which case you could hire an accountant or find local services that can help.
Although your relative might not be up to speed with the latest technology, make it your mission to get them on Skype or WhatsApp. These apps make it easy for people to communicate overseas, and it will help you feel closer to your loved one because you will get to see their face. Loneliness is a real problem in older people, so be sure to speak on the phone or by video chat once a week, and check in on them by text or email if you can.